Good win for Neil Woods' youngsters...THE SADDLERS' youth team strengthened their position at the top of The Football League Youth Alliance North-West Conference with a fine 2-0 success at fellow contenders, Rochdale.
"It was a very competitive game," said Academy Manager, Neil Woods. "We started well and had good control for the opening ten or 15 minutes.
"Our hosts started to come back into it after that and did everything apart from score as we defended well, with Kyle Rowley in particular making a good block on the line.
"As half-time approached, the game became more even again with both 'keepers making good saves as we went in at the break goalless.
"We changed things for the second half and got control straight away, playing the type of football that I know we are capable of.
"The opening goal finally arrived when Kane Lewis did well to set up Tevin Shakespeare who found the net.
"It wasn't long before we managed to double our advantage courtesy of an individual effort from Luke Delaney.
"We were dominant at this stage and looking good value for our lead. However, with 20 minutes to go there was a red card for Shakespeare and with ten men it gave us a tough final 20 minutes where we had to work extremely hard to keep our hosts at bay.
"But we proved to be well-organised and resillient to see the game out and bring home an excellent three points against a very good side.
"It was a pleasing result and overall performance."
WALSALL: Jezeph, J. Smith, Lewis, Sangha, K. Rowley, Probert, Oliver (Kouhyar (Reid)), Delaney, Shakespeare, L. Rowley, Henry (R. Smith). Subs not used: Maddocks, Pooni.
MATCH HIGHLIGHTS CAN BE VIEWED HERE...